Take the one by Josh Donaldson in the 8th inning of Monday’s game. He had trouble scooping up the batted ball and out of the corner of his eye tried to get the runner who was rounding 3rd base. But his throw sailed into the stands and allowed the Indians to score an insurance run. It was only one run but that took away any momentum the Blue Jays had to come back and win it in the end. Bautista also bobbled a batted ball in the outfield that allowed Carlos Santana to score from first base with the tying run. There previous loss was in Texas 4 days before where Bautista allowed a ball hit into the outfield to go under his glove allowing 3 runners to score.
Giving away outs was one reason the Blue Jays faltered down the stretch late last season. And it was the reason why Alex Anthopoulos acquired Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, and Ben Revere. They are good with the glove as they are at the plate.
Let’s take this to hockey. Fans in Toronto are so obsessed with offence that they believe the only thing that matters is scoring goals. But goaltending has been sub-par especially since James Reimer suffered a concussion that hampered his ability to perform in net for the Maple Leafs. If defense doesn’t matter why all the fuss over the play of Dion Phaneuf? Also, let’s not confuse defense with the neutral zone trap. One is an appropriate measure that requires physical contact, the other relies on standing in the player’s way.
The two losses the Blue Jays suffered hasn’t caused them to go into a slide. The New York Yankees have still not been able to catch the Blue Jays for the American League East lead during that span. But the Blue Jays can’t afford to be lackadaisical if they want to be taken seriously heading into the final month of the regular season. They better make sure they brush up on the “D”.